BY MEREDITH KNIGHT
Donna Smiedt was happy and successful in her solo family law practice. Then she welcomed a dynamic, young attorney to her team. Now, she wonders how she ever got along without Desaray Muma. “Desaray came to work for me, six years ago,” Donna said. “I began tasking her with research and briefs, which she promptly and expertly returned to me, no questions asked. I started entrusting her with uncontested cases and the least challenging hearings, to gain experience. She performed flawlessly.” As Desaray’s confidence level and knowledge of family law grew, Donna entrusted her with the more complex and high-conflict family law cases that are her specialty. Now, the two work shoulder-to-shoulder in all areas of family law including divorces, child custody battles, adoptions, child support, and Child Protective Services litigation.
“As a younger attorney, I aspired to have the confidence and tenacity I saw in Donna,” Desaray said. “She played a huge role in me becoming the attorney I am today.” Desaray specializes in cases involving the collaborative law process. “This involves a series of meetings outside of court focused on settlement from the beginning of the case, allowing families to have a customized process and control over their case,” Desaray said. “Collaborative law gives families the right to make decisions for their children and sets parents up for future success in co-parenting.”
For 30 plus years, Donna has guided her clients deftly through the legal aspects of family law but also the more personal ones, proffering advice on how best to navigate emotional minefields and easing transitions for everyone in the family, including children, who often struggle the most with the adjustments. “Total honesty between my client and myself is the best way to get the desired results,” she said. “The more information I have, the better I can present options to them.” Her efforts have been recognized by a Fort Worth Top Attorney award, as well as being voted Family Law Attorney of the Year in Arlington multiple times.
From a small, solo practice the firm has grown to include highly seasoned paralegals, legal assistants, an office manager, receptionist, and chief financial officer, to provide the best possible front and back office service to clients as Arlington and Mansfield’s full-service family law firm.
“I can’t thank Donna enough for taking me under her wing and placing me in position to gain invaluable experience in all areas of family law that will greatly benefit our clients,” Desaray said.
“I’ve had the privilege to watch Desaray blossom into the brilliant, beautiful, young lawyer and businesswoman she is today—a proficient attorney, confident in her own skills,” Donna said. “She’s garnered the respect of jurists and opposing counsel alike. I feel confident of an excellent future for both of us in this endeavor we love.”
3216 West Arkansas Lane
Arlington, Texas 76016